Chapter 1– New Employees
The long dark hallway just inside the entrance to The Company was quiet at 7:59. As the seconds ticked by the darkness prepared for the new day.
8:00 began the workday. A large steel blue door opened and light illuminated the hallway in front of it. The florescence lights above the hallway lit up and the day began.
Derrick Adams, Eric Hoyt, Dr. Daniel Stein, Nancy Smith and Andrea Alexander walked through the dark blue door and into the nondescript hallway. They stood together off to the left of the door.
“Did you notice no one walked to the left down this hallway?” Andrea Alexander said, as she watched 200 or so people walk to the right into a maze of perpendicular hallways.
Nancy Smith, stood beside Andi and look to the left down the hallway. She noticed a single door painted darkly at the end of the hall. There was a small bulb lit above the door. No other doors are within the hall, just faded plaster walls and a paint strip down the center of the floor.
Nancy brushed long brunette hair from her face and answered, “I wouldn’t call it a strange thing.”
The rest of the group looked to the left and stared into the hallway. Curiosity peeked like a child in the refrigerator.
“How’s it going?” Said a voice from behind them. The group jumped in unison and turned toward the voice. A small Latino man dressed in a sharp black suit and light blue shirt approached the group smiling.
“Derrick Adams, Eric Hoyt, Dr. Stein, Nancy Smith and Andrea Alexander,” he began professionally.
“I’m Dr. Ruiz. Follow me,” he said.
“Wait,” Andrea Alexander asked then added. “What’s down that hallway? No one walked down that way.”
Dr. Ruiz hesitated slightly, “There are some storage rooms and other rooms that aren’t used,” he said.
“But there is only one room down there,” she countered.
“Lets continue,” Dr. Ruiz stated, ignoring her comment.
The first hallway was on the left. It was well lit with several people walking in and out. Derrick Adams, the new resident IT specialist, spotted a man standing by himself outside a doorway on the right.
“Hey, what’s going on Kerry,” Derrick said.
The man looked. The large sacks under his eyes were drooping and wrinkles were prominent upon his middle-aged face. When he saw Derrick he smiled and waved.
“You know that man,” said Eric Hoyt sharply. He was a large man with a square jaw. He fit better in the Secret Service then in a Research and Development company.
“Why do you ask?” Said Derrick suspiciously.
“Don’t know,” replied Eric Hoyt, “just curious.”
A muffled argument burst from an opening door at the end of the hall. Suddenly, the glass within the door burst outward and a man in black slacks fell through it. Everyone within eyesight gasp but no one went to investigate. The man sat unmoving within the door. A door burst open from somewhere and men rushed out into the halls. The clamor of heavy leather boots announced introduced the Company guards. The guards pushed through Dr. Ruiz and the group of new employees. They rushed up the hall and stood in front of the door at the end of the hall.
Doctor Ruiz stepped in front of the group. “The conference room is in the last hallway…” He began.
“…all the way to the right, down the hall. Go in and pick a chair. I’ll meet you in a few.”
Dr. Ruiz walked toward the commotion. The group stood watching for several minutes then, lead by the women, they began to walk down toward the conference room. They said little till they sat in the conference room.
The conference room was a large room, lit brightly, with four tables pushed together in the center of the room. Three black overstuffed chairs were pushed neatly under each table. Nancy Smith and Derrick Adams entered first and walked around the table. Nancy Smith sat on the left and Derrick Adams on the right. Andrea Alexander, Dr. Stein and Eric Hoyt came in last and sat closest to the door.
“What brings you here, Andrea?” Nancy Smith said trying to avoid talking about the situation down the hall.
“I’m not really interested in small talk,” Andrea said with no contempt but no interest in the conversation, “I want to know what happened down the hall.”
“It simply looked like an argument,” said Dr. Stein.
The group looked at him. He was the oldest of the group. He wore a white doctor’s coat with a small insignia on the right chest.
“Your probably right,” Andrea said.
“Alright, group,” said Dr. Ruiz as he stood within the doorway, “Let’s get this started.”
The meeting lasted only 30 minutes. Dr. Ruiz explained the history of the company; it’s procedures and safety guidelines. He introduced the head of each department by picture only. He intended to have them visit but because of the commotion they were not available. He dismissed the group and they left for their perspective positions.
Derrick Adams stood outside the door of the conference room waiting for Gary Minux. He was head of IT for The Company.
Gary Minux stepped from the main hallway and began toward Derrick.
“Hi, welcome to the Company,” said the man. He was a small man with a large forehead and thin hair. He spoke in a quiet, almost bored tone.
“My name is Gary Minux and I am the Technology Director. Come with me,” he said.